Universal Wastes

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Universal Wastes are a special family of wastes which are regulated differently from the rules governing hazardous waste. There are three types of Universal Waste which are commonly generated in University of Florida workplaces:

  • Rechargeable batteries, or batteries containing a toxic heavy metal (i.e. lead-acid batteries)
  • Mercury-Containing Lamps
  • Mercury-Containing Devices

Rechargeable batteries

  • Includes all types of rechargeable batteries (of any size), car batteries, batteries removed from Uninterrupted Power Supplies (“UPSs”), batteries containing toxic heavy metals such as lead or cadmium, Nickel Metal Hydride batteries, and Lithium Ion batteries
  • Does not include alkaline batteries, which may be disposed of as normal trash
  • Place batteries in a rigid outer container such as a box or bucket
  • Label as “Universal Waste-Batteries”
  • Write accumulation start date on label; recycle through EH&S within one year

Mercury-Containing Lamps

  • Includes all types of fluorescent bulbs (including compacts), high-intensity bulbs (“HIDs”), Mercury lamps, UV bulbs, projector bulbs, and U-tube or circular bulbs
  • Does not include incandescent bulbs, which may be disposed of as normal trash
  • Place bulbs/lamps in a rigid outer container such as a box or bucket
  • Label as “Universal Waste-Mercury Containing Lamps”
  • Write accumulation start date on label; recycle through EH&S within one year

Mercury-Containing Devices

  • Includes mercury-containing thermometers, thermostats, manometers, sphygmomanometers, mercury switches, and mercury tube control devices
  • Place device in a rigid outer container such as a box or bucket
  • Contain broken devices in a sealable plastic bag within the rigid outer container to prevent Mercury spillage
  • Label as “Universal Waste- Mercury Containing Devices”
  • Place device in a rigid outer container such as a box or bucket
  • Write accumulation start date on label; recycle through EH&S within one year

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